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ARA Executive Director: retailers expecting to ramp up employment via quick transition to more sustainable penalty rates

Melbourne, Australia, 2017-Jun-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — While the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) welcomes the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) Penalty Rates Reduction decision, retail employers will be disappointed by the excessive length of the transitional arrangements handed down today (June 5, 2017).

ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman said retailers were expecting to ramp up employment via a quick transition to more sustainable penalty rates, though the announced arrangements will only hinder the immediate benefit to employment and growth within the sector.

“The Commission found that a reduction in penalty rates will allow retailers to extend staff working hours and increase employment across the board, therefore these sluggish arrangements will unnecessarily delay the creation of new retail jobs,”

“Retailers are already operating in a tough environment, and the ARA will be working with its members and legal providers to strongly defend the decision to ensure the implementation of Public Holiday rates from 1 July 2017,” Mr Zimmerman said.

The ARA will further challenge any attempt by the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) to defer the implementation of the Sunday penalty rates decision.

“The ARA will strongly oppose any application from the SDA for judicial review of the Sunday penalty rates decision, as this will only serve to prolong the benefits for retail employers, employees and overall industry growth.” Mr Zimmerman stated.

The ARA believes the Commission’s decision will be upheld in the Federal Court as the Union’s judicial review will risk all the benefits for Australian retailers, the unemployed and the broader Australian economy.

General Retail Industry Award 2010 Transitional Arrangements;

Category Previous
1 July 2017
1 July 2018
1 July 2019
1 July 2020
Permanent Sunday 200% 195% 180% 165% 150%
Casual Sunday 200% 195% 185% 175%

To arrange an interview with Mr Zimmerman, please call the ARA media team on 0439 612 556 or email

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit or call 1300 368 041.

SOURCE: Australian Retailers Association


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